Government criticised for holding back the modern rural economy

Planning policy reforms will fail to meet the needs of a diverse business landscape, restricting rural growth and innovation.

Rural organisation the CLA has stated that the needs of the modern rural economy must be met, following its consultation in to the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

The NPPF dictates the government’s planning policies for England and how they should be applied. However, the CLA has stated that planners hold outdated perceptions that the countryside is exclusively for farming.

CLA President Tim Breitmeyer commented on the proposed planning reforms,

“Our countryside is home to a diverse business landscape held back by the planning system.” 

“Outdated views of what the countryside is, and what is required to make it sustainable remain, and must be challenged so that people living and working in rural areas have the same opportunities as those in urban areas.”

Development Tax

The CLA has expressed further concerns over changes to development tax proposed in both the NPPF and in a separate consultation focused solely on developer contributions.

Developers are charged a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) when planning permission is granted to build residential and commercial units.

The CLA says the combined effect of both consultations appear to remove virtually all incentives for landowners to bring agricultural land forward for development.

Mr Breitmeyer said: 

“New proposals for developer contributions will lead to even more costs being shifted on to the price landowners receive for the land. Frontloading these costs, especially before planning decisions are made, will serve as a major barrier to businesses taking risks and bringing forward the innovative development that rural areas need.”

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